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  • Writer's pictureMidwest Fence & Gate

Does My Neighbor Have to Pay for Half My Fence?

A tall black metal fence.

Fences are crucial for maintaining boundaries between properties. It demarcates the end of each property and prevents trespassing. As a fence serves both you and your neighbors, you might be wondering if both parties should pay for its installation.

Though typically, both parties share the cost of the fence installation, there are some cases where things can get complicated. For example, one of the neighbors might refuse to share the costs, even if they benefit from it, as they weren’t the ones to take the initiative to put up the fence.

This can be a complicated issue, and there are several things you need to know before negotiating with your neighbors. Here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about sharing fencing costs with your neighbors.

FAQs about Sharing Fencing Costs with Neighbors

What Does Installing a Fence Entail, and Is It Mandatory for Neighbors to Pay Half the Share?

The answer to this question depends on several factors.

Firstly, the cost of putting up a fence can be anywhere between 2 to 10 thousand dollars. It depends on the kind of material used for the fence, how high it is, the total perimeter the fence has to cover, and the installation cost.

Since this is a large amount, it is understandable that one might not want to bear the entire expense, especially if both parties benefit from the final result. Dividing the cost 50/50 is the best solution to the problem.

What If the Other Party Does Not Want to Pay? What Does the Fencing Law Have to Say About It?

Fencing law states that whether the costs are to be shared between both parties depends on whether both owners use the fence. If the fence is meant as a boundary and is put on common ground, both parties should pay.

One needs to consult the municipal offices to determine the boundary line and the common land. Since these laws are different for each locality and differ widely from state to state, one needs to consult their local policies to settle any dispute. However, in most cases, the law will ask both parties to pay for the fence.

What If One of the Parties Refuses to Pay for the Fence?

If the fence becomes an absolute necessity and yet your neighbor is unwilling to pay for it, there are a few methods you can try out.

First, you may place a request by writing them a letter explaining the need to put up the fence and how it will benefit both properties. Explain how sharing the costs will make the process easier, and hopefully, they will relent.

If the neighbor refuses to pay at first and you cannot wait for the fence to be built, you can pay the initial costs and then send a legal demand to your neighbor to pay half the costs. Your lawyer will write a notice and enclose the bill, asking your neighbor to pay half the amount.

You can approach a third party for the mediation. In most cities, there are bodies to solve this kind of issue, and you may ask your local government about it.

Lastly, you may sue your neighbor for reimbursement, and you might have a good chance of winning if you can prove that the neighbor was the reason you had to put up the fence to begin with.

A short white fence between two properties.

How High Can You Build a Fence?

You have to consult your local laws to know how high a fence can be, but in most cases, it is about 6 feet between two properties and 4 feet on the side of the road. In some cases, the bylaw also applies to natural fences like bushes and shrubs.

If there are any changes in fencing laws and the fence had gone up before the changes were made, then the fence is allowed to remain. This is especially true if the fence has been erected for protective reasons, like shielding the property from a highway or for environmental reasons.

What Do You Do If Your Neighbor Builds a Fence That Clashes with the Aesthetic Appeal of Your Property?

In some cases, you may be on the other side of this problem, and your neighbor might have erected a fence without considering your wishes. In such cases, the same laws apply to you. If the fence benefits your property and you are going to use it as well, and it is built on common land, then you are expected to pay half the expenses.

However, at times, your neighbor may put up a fence that is not in line with your aesthetics. It might also negatively impact your home's curb appeal because it is situated right next to your premises.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it, as there is nothing in the fencing laws that state anything about the design of the fence. However, a blight ordinance may be applied if the fence is poorly built or poses any kind of danger, like spikes protruding to your side of the property. That is a violation of your rights, and you can sue your neighbor because you lose the right to enjoy your own property. You can seek an attorney’s service to help you figure out the details.

That being said, the easiest way to resolve any of these problems is to try communicating with your neighbors and reach a solution that benefits both parties. You can even get a third party, like another neighbor or the HOA, to mediate your negotiation.

At Midwest Fence & Gate Company, we provide the best fencing and gate solutions to our clients. Once you have determined what kind of fence you want around your property and the purpose for which you need it, our experts will help you come up with the best solutions. We work with all kinds of materials and designs and have access to specialized equipment for installation. Our team will work around your schedule to ensure your fence is up in no time at all.

Call us today for a quick consult or to schedule a site visit, and our experts will take it from there.

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